It’s been another hectic week with lots of news so here’s our likely last roundup for the year.
Integrated Ferry Fares
Auckland Transport announced last Friday that ferry users will get integrated fares by April. I certainly could have done with integrated fares on that same Friday. To get back home from Waiheke I caught the bus to the ferry and then after getting to the city caught the train home. However, it’s worth noting that integrated fares does not mean ferry fares will be the same as bus and train fares.
This will see single zone bus or train travel, at both the start and end of the ferry trip, included within the existing AT HOP ferry fare, effectively making single zone connecting AT Metro bus or train trips free. This will be provided for Bayswater, Beach Haven, Birkenhead, Gulf Harbour, Half Moon Bay, Hobsonville, Pine Harbour and West Harbour ferry services contracted by AT. In addition, Fullers360 has confirmed simpler fares will also be provided on its Devonport and Waiheke ferries when passengers use their HOP card.
AT’s executive general manager Integrated Networks Mark Lambert says AT has been working with Auckland Council and Fullers to make public transport easier. “As an example, if you use your HOP card for your bus or train trip to the ferry within the City Zone on the mainland and use a bus to connect at the other end of your ferry trip, for a single zone it will be included in the single price of your HOP ferry fare. You just need to tag-on and off for every leg of your journey and you will only pay once.”
We’ll obviously find out more next year but it will be interesting to see how that ties in with trips longer than one zone either side of the ferry trip.
Victoria St Cycleway
The work will cost $5.3 million for construction – inclusive of the maintenance reseal programme. It will be a dig once approach.
Waitemata Local Board’s transport lead Graeme Gunthorp says the work will provide a vital connection.
“This vital connection links the cycleways on Franklin Road and Nelson Street, so you can bike or scooter from Ponsonby to the city – all on a separated and safe bike path. This is how we create a connected network.”
Mr Gunthorp says pedestrians will also be prioritised with the busy Halsey/Victoria/Wellesley intersection becoming far safer, quicker and easier for people to cross the road.
“The slip lanes, which have no place in cities or town centres, will be removed, and the kerb will be built out,” he says.
“These healthy, safe, connected and accessible streets are what we need more of.”
AT’s Portfolio Delivery Director (Projects), David Nelson, says the work will start immediately after Christmas.
This project had gone quite for a long time so it’s great to see it finally happening. There are more details and images on ATs website.
More speed cameras are on the way.
Four more red light safety cameras are live at high-risk intersections in Auckland, following the first four installed in recent weeks.
These new red light safety cameras will reduce dangerous driving and help save lives.
In Auckland, between 2014 and 2018, there were 83 fatalities or serious injuries due to red light running.
There are about 18 intersections with red light cameras on them out of about 657 across the region. We should be aiming to have cameras on every one of them.
AT say their monitoring is showing only very little impact is being caused by the construction of the Eastern Busway and that they’re even seeing some increased use of buses.
Travel time data shows that travel disruption has been kept to an absolute minimum and bus patronage is improving in the local area.
Auckland Transport (AT) has used GPS information and point-to-point camera technology to measure the traffic disruption caused by the roadworks.
Earlier this year, measures to minimise travel disruption and provide more journey options were introduced.
These included a temporary T2 lane on Pakuranga Road, new express bus services between Howick, Pakuranga and Panmure Station; as well as a Park and Ride at Lloyd Elsmore Park.
Travel data shows disruption was kept to a minimum:
- The impact on journey times for single occupant vehicles has been minimal since the T2 lane was introduced.
- Journey times have been an average of three per cent slower, month-by-month, since the lane was introduced earlier this year.
- Improvements to bus journey times and increased local bus patronage of seven per cent during peak travel time since construction started. The new 728 and 729 express services – introduced to support the T2/bus lane – are the largest contributors to this increase.
- Journey times across the wider East Auckland area, including Waipuna Bridge and Lagoon Drive, show very little impact on journey times for single-occupancy vehicles, or public transport, as a result of construction of stage one.
- For the month of October, journey times for the wider network have been four per cent slower.
- Multi-occupant vehicles and buses using the T2 lane have experienced faster journey times.
- Discounted e-bikes
Cheaper e-bikes for some public sector workers
We’ve heard of a few initiatives before where organisations used bulk purchasing to enable staff to purchase cheaper e-bikes – and they’ve been very successful at getting more people on bikes. The government has now taken up the idea and is rolling it out to about 50,000 public sector workers.
Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.
Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.
“The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase discounts on e-bikes which will be made available to interested workers in public sector organisations including DHBs, councils and state sector agencies.
“The discounts on e-bikes will range from 10 to 50 percent, or $300 to $1200, off the cost of an e-bike.
This is excellent and we need more public and private sector employers to replicate this. Handedly the NZTA already has some guidance about how other organisations can replicate this.
Roadside drug testing
The government are looking to bring in roadside drug testing to improve road safety
Police will be given new powers to conduct random roadside oral fluid drug testing to deter, detect and prosecute drugged drivers in order to save lives, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today.
“Last year 95 people were killed in preventable crashes where the driver was found to have drugs in their system that could impair driving. That is an enormous and intolerable loss of life,” said Julie Anne Genter.
This isn’t expected to start till 2021.
Motorway and cycleway openings
Yesterday saw the official opening of extra lanes and the cycleway on SH16 between Lincoln Rd and Westgate along with the works on SH1 between Papakura and Takanini.
My cycle commute takes me through the Lincoln to Westgate area so I’ve been looking forward to it being completed for quite some time, especially as some parts have been completed for over a year.
You can see a video of some of it here. One thing that is particurly nice is that they’ve laid smooth asphalt instead of concrete, which has a tendency to be bumpy.
Glad to finally have the NW cycleway extension open for my commute home pic.twitter.com/k3lauBCLlZ
— Greater Auckland (@GreaterAKL) December 19, 2019
There’s still more we want to cover that we haven’t yet so if there’s something you think we’ve missed, it might just be that we’re waiting to give it the attention it deserves. We’ve also still got a few more posts planned for the year including some wrapping up all the big things that have happened.
Finally, if you’re travelling over the Christmas/New Year period, be safe.